Respective contribution of intensive care unit-acquired limb muscle and severe diaphragm weakness on weaning outcome and mortality: a post hoc analysis of two cohorts

Crit Care. 2019 Nov 21;23(1):370. doi: 10.1186/s13054-019-2650-z.


Background: Intensive care unit (ICU)-acquired weakness (ICU-AW) and ICU-acquired diaphragm dysfunction (ICU-DD) occur frequently in mechanically ventilated (MV) patients. It is unknown whether they have different risk factors and different impacts on outcome. This study was designed to (1) describe the respective risk factors associated with ICU-AW and severe ICU-DD and (2) evaluate the respective impact of ICU-AW and severe ICU-DD on outcome.

Methods: Post hoc analysis of two prospective cohort studies conducted in two ICUs. In patients mechanically ventilated for at least 24 h undergoing a first spontaneous breathing trial, severe ICU-DD was defined as diaphragm twitch pressure < 7 cmH2O and ICU-AW was defined as Medical Research Council Score < 48.

Results: One hundred sixteen patients were assessed. Factors independently associated with severe ICU-DD were age, longer duration of MV, and exposure to sufentanil, and those factors associated with ICU-AW were longer duration of MV and exposure to norepinephrine. Severe ICU-DD (OR 3.56, p = 0.008), but not ICU-AW, was independently associated with weaning failure (59%). ICU-AW (OR 4.30, p = 0.033), but not severe ICU-DD, was associated with ICU mortality. Weaning failure and mortality rate were higher in patients with both severe ICU-DD and ICU-AW (86% and 39%, respectively) than in patients with either severe ICU-DD (64% and 0%) or ICU-AW (63% and 13%).

Conclusion: Severe ICU-DD and ICU-AW have different risk factors and different impacts on weaning failure and mortality. The impact of the combination of ICU-DD and ICU-AW is more pronounced than their individual impact.

Keywords: Diaphragm; Intensive care unit; Magnetic stimulation; Mechanical ventilation; Muscles; Weakness; Weaning.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Critical Illness
  • Diaphragm / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units* / trends
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mortality / trends
  • Muscle Weakness / diagnosis
  • Muscle Weakness / mortality*
  • Muscle Weakness / therapy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Respiration, Artificial / mortality*
  • Respiration, Artificial / trends
  • Severity of Illness Index*
  • Ventilator Weaning / mortality*
  • Ventilator Weaning / trends